My son’s plan to quit his job and travel around the world worries me

The Japan News

Dear Troubleshooter:

I’m a 60-year-old unemployed man. I recently got divorced, and I live alone in a rented apartment. My 30-year-old son, who works in Tokyo, says he wants to quit his job to go on a trip around the world for a year.

My son, who has always said he wants to work abroad, went to a university specializing in foreign languages. But during his school years, he spent much of his time working part-time in the food industry. After graduation, he never found a regular job and went to Australia for about a year.

After returning to Japan, he worked in the food industry for about six months and at a trading firm for about a year. But he returned to our hometown, saying that he doesn’t want to work a sales job and doesn’t want to be used by employers.

After working part-time, he got a job at a computer systems company in Tokyo. He worked there for some time, and then started his own business and has been working independently for about four years.

He finally got his life on track, but now he is planning a trip around the world. It seems he has not even decided what he will do after he returns to Japan.

My son is not at an age that a parent would have any say in the matter, but I’m also single, so I worry that we will go down together.

What should I be prepared for regarding my son’s unstable life?

F, Hyogo Prefecture

Dear Mr. F:

You say that your son is leading an unstable life, but I don’t see it that way.

Rather, it seems to me that he has a solid plan for the future and is steadily moving forward according to that plan. He seems to have been saving money and making preparations for his one-year trip around the world. For your son, this may be another business venture.

Why don’t you just have his back? Your son is young at 30 years old, and even if he fails, he will be able to make up for it. Why don’t you encourage him to pursue his dream of working abroad?

I am more concerned about what you will do in the future.

In fact, I think your son probably worries about you. At your age, you say that you are unemployed. Does that mean you are retired? Are you able to make a living? I am concerned about the phrase “we will go down together.”

If you are asking for advice because you want to rely on your son in the future, it would be better not to rely on him. I recommend that you live your life and be a proud father.

Tatsuro Dekune, writer

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Nov. 29, 2022)